Say the words Brand Duplicity and it automatically paints pictures of brands attempting to ‘dupe’ their consumers in some way.
In reality, very few brands employ this kind of duplicity – for the most part, brands understand that doing the right thing by the consumer is profitable.
The duplicity that many brands employ is far more subtle and often goes unnoticed – they are ‘duping’ themselves.
“If you try and chase two rabbits, you’ll lose them both” – English Proverb
Just as integrity is the state of being singular and unified in purpose, duplicity, is the state of being dual, or double, in purpose.
Duplicity is rarely about having an evil agenda, but occurs where there are two conflicting internal (ie. non-customer facing) stakeholders that handicap the output of the company.
*Many* brands fall in this category.
In an Industrial Economic environment, duplicitous brands may be able to get away with this as long as they had deeper pockets – the barrier to entry for competitors to step in was so expensive that internal inefficiencies could be excused if a brand had scale.
Today, duplicitous brands (& markets) are square in the sights of lean, Connection Economy disruptors who don’t have the same baggage of competing internal stakeholders and who understand that connection is currency (not necessarily money).
If you recognise your own Brand Duplicity (not to mention triplicity or worse), it has never been a more urgent hour to return to Brand Integrity.
Disrupt or be disrupted.